T-Mobile offers ‘free’ roaming in Mexico and Canada; may have grabbed No.3 operator spot

T-Mobile offers ‘free’ roaming in Mexico and Canada; may have grabbed No.3 operator spot

09 JUL 2015

T-Mobile US today unveiled its latest ‘Uncarrier Amped’ initiative, offering calling, texting and 4G data services within Mexico and Canada at no extra charge. The new offering came as the operator released preliminary Q2 results that show it’s likely to have grabbed the number 3 spot from fierce rival Sprint.

Starting 15 July, the Mobile Without Borders initiative builds on its first ‘uncarrier’ initiative (Simple Choice) and claims to be the first and only wireless plan to span an entire continent.

Naturally, CEO John Legere used the launch to take more digs at its competitors.

“After spending billions buying up Mexican telecoms, AT&T’s CEO is promising ‘the first seamless network covering Mexico and the US,’ something ‘unique’ that ‘nobody else will be able to do for the consumer.’ So much for that. They won’t be the first. And they won’t offer Canada for free,” commented Legere. “We’ve done this the Uncarrier way − reaching across borders, partnering with leading providers offering the best LTE networks, creating a simple solution right now − then not charging a penny more for it.”

In a statement, T-Mobile claimed the move eliminates “a major pain point for US wireless customers.” It reckons over one-third of all international calls (35 per cent) and over half of all international travel (55 per cent) from the US is to Mexico or Canada. “Cross a border with AT&T or Verizon, and they jack up the price for data 120x or more!” added the statement.

In a vlog (see below), Legere added: “AT&T and Verizon are projected to make nearly $10 billion in global roaming charges this year at margins north of 90 per cent. This is one of the wireless industry’s dirtiest little secrets.”

The operator says “everyone’s eligible, including Simple Choice postpaid and prepaid customers.” Starting next Wednesday, new Simple Choice customer will automatically get Mexico and Canada included in their plan at no extra charge. Current Simple Choice customers can opt-in online, by phone, or in-store by switching to the latest plans for free. Business customers can add coverage and calling across North America to their Simple Choice plan at no extra cost for the first 10 lines and $1 a month for each line beyond that.”

The move builds on an earlier Uncarrier initiative that saw it offer free texting to “virtually
anywhere” in the world and free 2G roaming data in more than 120 countries and
destinations worldwide. It also charged a global flat rate of $0.20 per minute for voice calls when roaming in those same countries.

Meanwhile T-Mobile said earlier today it added 2.1 million customers in its most recent quarter (ended June 30), up 41 per cent year-over-year, marking the 9th consecutive quarter it has added more than 1 million customers. In fact, more than 1 million of the 2.1 million total were branded postpaid additions, the highest-spending form of customer.

Its total customer base now stands at 58.9 million across postpaid, prepaid and wholesale. This is a figure that could push it ahead of Sprint to become the US’ third-largest operator. We will know for sure when both operators announce official results later this month.


Justin Springham

Justin manages the editorial content for the Mobile World Live portal and award-winning Mobile World Live TV service. In the last few years Justin has launched and grown a portfolio of premier media products, which include the Mobile World Congress...

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